Salt Lake Tribune

The last opinion piece I submitted to the Salt Lake Tribune went unanswered for a week before I put it on my blog. I wrote a response to their endorsement of Senator Hatch and it was greeted with the same silence. Realizing time was of the essence, I emailed the editor and called their Reader Advocate. Last night, I received a call from Vern Anderson informing me that the Salt Lake Tribune does not publish opinion pieces from candidates. Not only that, the letter my wife wrote correcting Matt Canham’s mistaken statement that, my “friends and family told (me my campaign) was a waste of (my) time”, would also not be published.

So here once again is an Internet exclusive.

Seniority does not serve America. Seniority serves the interests of senior politicians. While public education is crumbling, our ports and borders are no more secure than they were on 9/11, our veterans ignored, and millions suffer and die without regular health care, I am ashamed that pork takes priority over fundamental need. It is with pleasure that I pledge to destroy the seniority system to return a balance of government interest to the people and help level the playing field for fair elections.

Orrin Hatch claims you should vote for him because of seniority. He states the Democrats are weak on security, that he is fiscally conservative and committed to small government. That in spite of obstructionist Democrats, only he displays the leadership which can serve Utah.

Where is Senator Hatch’s concern for national security when he displayed more self-promotion than national protection by spilling the details of secret intelligence monitoring of Osama bin Laden within hours of the attacks on September 11th? I do not believe the Republican nor the Democratic party has a desire for weak security, but Senator Hatch has demonstrated he is a security risk all on his own.

Where is the fiscal responsibility when Senator Hatch does not show restraint in securing a lavish $100 million for an expansion to the Utah Federal Courthouse? This is a project which will literally move a building across a street, raze a popular nightspot “Port o’ Call”, and replace a characteristic portion of Salt Lake’s downtown with an enormous “Justice Cube” eyesore. Expensive, out of place, and useless, this will be an appropriate tribute to pork and the Senator who secured it.

Where is Senator Hatch’s leadership when he begs Utahns to petition the Bureau of Land Management to keep nuclear waste out of Utah? True leadership does not require thousands of citizen letters to communicate the obvious. Last I checked, Congress was in charge of the BLM and not the other way around.

I do not require 30 years to get traction in Washington. In Orrin Hatch’s first term, this country grappled with many of the same problems we confront today. Energy prices, Mid-East turmoil, terrorism, child predators, and education were all primary concerns in 1976 as they are today in 2006. Why has Hatch’s mantra of “18 years is long enough” been extended to a need for 36? Who, but those elected representatives who have legislated through the past five administrations, should take responsibility for today’s crushing debt, imbalanced budgets and global instability?

According to Senator Hatch, the Democrats are to shoulder all of the blame for his inability to resolve America’s problems. I reach out to all Utahns, regardless of their political beliefs, and it is in the spirit of bringing our country together, that I set about to solve this nation’s gravest problems. Blaming his ineffectiveness on Democratic obstructionism does nothing except highlight his continual demonization of anyone who does not hold the same philosophy as he.

For every failure, there is opportunity. I have a plan for a better America and I have been executing it throughout this campaign. I have demonstrated how I will hold myself and the government accountable to the people. I have displayed the ability and the commitment to secure consensus and advice. I am committed to fiscal conservatism, limited government, and constitutional respect.

I have a vision for the future of our nation. Senator Hatch questioned me on the need for rapid rail throughout rural America in a recent debate. According to his opinion, it is too hard and too expensive. Thank goodness this man wasn’t in charge when we built the intercontinental railway, dammed the Colorado river, split the atom, established highways, and went to the moon. America desperately needs new vision and the leadership to execute it.

Barack Obama has been heralded as a new star in the Senate and is already under consideration for the presidency. All this in his FIRST term. Utah has an opportunity with this race that no amount of seniority can justify passing up. I pray the electorate will give careful consideration to what I stand for, my character, and what I have already done for Utah.

20 thoughts on “Salt Lake Tribune

  1. This is exactly what people need to hear from you. This has redoubled my confidence that you are the right person to go to the Senate for Utah. I hope that a lot of people hear this message between now and Tuesday!

  2. Run a full page ad with this in the Tribune. Piss them off. People need to see this, and they need to see it NOW.

  3. I agree that a full-paged ad would be a great way to reach those who need to hear this message! Not only in the Tribune, but also in the Deseret News, and all other local papers!

  4. Half page is $7513.38. When we got that price, we didn’t bother to ask what a full page ad would cost. For $7500 we can cover the airwaves with radio commercials.

  5. Then I hope you cover the airwaves with exactly what you wrote, because it’s what people need to see and hear.

  6. This is getting me on edge. My wife had to calm me down after I read that Hatch backing. I think my dog ran away to her room, she thought I was mad at her. Were pulling for you in Davis County!!!!

    This level headed thinking must be spread like cocain to a Music Industry insider tied up in litigatin in Dubai.

    Just get on the radio and say just that statement you wrote. Or just go about and open a dictionary and pick out words and shorten the meanings. That appears to get some motivated to vote.

    G0 P3t3. W3 n33d L3ss r3str1ct10ns 4nd m0r3 0p3nn3ss.

  7. So take out a half-page ad!!!!!!!!! I think it is more important than radio ads. Not everyone listens to the radio. Another idea is to paraphrase your letter written by someone else and send it in. Maybe?

  8. Will the ad get printed in time? Thats the question. I do agree an ad would get more attention. Now that you mention it I dont think I have heard a Ashdown Radio Spot. I listen to X96 though. And some others, U92/104.3/ Very diverse. On the fence about what to do, but somethign needs to be done about this. To get More attention. I talked to soemone the other day and they were like -AshWho? After talking they seemed to at least give the site a look. But yes more attention in a Ad or something. Especially since its cruch time.

  9. I say everyone copy and paste Pete’s letter and send to your entire address book or to those friends and family in Utah that have not had an opportunity to vote yet. Get it out fast and ask everyone to read and pass along. We need to start something fast and get it on all the blogs you can.

  10. We just started a new radio ad centered on No Child Left Behind, you can hear it on the following stations:

    kneu, kifx, KLO,ksl,kxrv,Karb, kvnu, ksub, kony

    The ad was recorded by Lily Eskelsen of the NEA and formerly a Utah teacher. We would love to put more ads out beyond this, but have financial limitations, If you want to see more ads (in print, on tv or on the radio), use the contribute button.

    We appreciate all of your support, and hope you will continue to give us feedback and suggestions.

    Also, look for some tv ads that are unique to say the least on Comedy Central, Spike, Lifetime, Oxygen, and a few other Comcast Cable stations.

  11. I also voted early, straight Democratic ticket and I’ve never wanted to help a campaign more than this one. I’m so tired of Orrin’s stay in the senate. It makes me sick that this state keeps re-electing him him when he has done nothing to help middle class and lower class citizens. I to wish you could put more TV and newspaper ads in because I think the message above is great and needs to be seen by all. Sadly, I still run in to many people that have not heard of Pete Ashdown, although I am trying desperatly to change that. Good Luck Pete!!!

  12. Leanne, not everyone reads newspapers. Circulation is dwindling nationwide while companies are slashing editorial staffs.

    On a different note, the Tribune has yet to publish my letter to the editor in response to its endorsement of Hatch. So, like Pete, I’ll post it here:

    Dear Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board,

    I was shocked to hear that the Tribune endorses Senator Orrin Hatch over Pete Ashdown this election season only because of Hatch’s seniority. While the editorial rightfully points out that he could lead the powerful Senate Finance Committee in a few years, it misses the point of the dangers of the seniority system.

    The Congressional seniority system rewards mere political survival, not innovation. When junior legislators are unable to accomplish what they promise, this system gives them an excuse. We need politicians who can quickly adapt to the complex federal government and get things done instead of awaiting multiple terms to accumulate political capital.

    Pete Ashdown is truly committed to fight and eradicate this useless system that protects legislative staleness that costs the country dearly. He has fresh ideas to problems — including: energy policy, environmental concerns, instability in the Middle East, and needless government opacity — that Congress has failed to stifle over the 30 years that Hatch has held his seat.

    Instead of promoting a badly needed change, the Tribune is no better than the many nincompoops that infest our patrician class. It unabashedly likes pork so much that it is afraid to taste something new.

    Steve Petersen

  13. I can’t find anyone to print this. So I’ll post it here.

    An Open Letter to Senator Hatch

    Mr. Hatch,

    Even before the founding of our great nation, those that would become our “Founding Fathers” believed in “unalienable rights” – rights that could not be given away. These rights are believed to be given by God – to all nations – to all peoples. Among these rights were Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. But these God-given rights are not solely inclusive to this abstract list. Our inspired Fathers, expounded on this list.

    Our Fathers found additional rights to be “self-evident”, that is, evident without proof. They felt so strongly about these rights that they would offer their blood as a ransom, in defense of these rights. They offered this, not only to their contemporaries, but also to their descendants. We, as their descendants, enjoy these rights as the fruit of their sacrifice.

    It is however, imperative that we, as a nation, recognize that their beliefs were not subject to them having “American citizenship”, because in fact, they were not American citizens, but citizens of the British Crown.

    During the years leading up to the American Revolution, the British Monarchy carried out injustice on our Fathers. Among these injustices, the King’s government could accuse colonists of crimes, put them aboard ship, take them to England, put them on trial before a unrighteous court, entertain no witnesses or evidence on their behalf and sentence them to prison or execution for treason. Violations of these rights by the Crown were instrumental in our Father’s producing the Declaration of Independence and later codified in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution.

    Due partially to this injustice, and wholly to Godly inspiration, our Fathers conceived additional “self-evident” rights that they found central to justice. Among these are;

    Right to a speedy trial.
    Right to trial of a jury of peers, in the location of the alleged offense.
    Right to know the charges and evidence against them.

    Our Fathers would eventually offer their own blood to secure these rights.

    Clearly now, we, as a nation, deny these rights to others, to those accused of crimes against our great nation. It is convient to pretend that only “American Citizens” should enjoy these rights. But our Fathers were not American citizens when the inspiration of these rights first inhabited their minds. Inspired by God, they found these rights to be central to justice, preexisting, and precluding their American citizenship.

    Do we not also believe that these rights are “self-evident”, “unalienable”, given to all men, by God, for the righteous execution of justice?

    Senator Hatch, as a student of history, religion, and law, do you not believe this?

    Now, our American government has declared war on a nation that has denied rights such as these to its people, the people of Iraq. Again, some among us have offered, as a security, as a ransom, their own blood. This time, for “Iraqi Freedom”.

    But our government, in its zealousness to defeat evil, is now practicing the same evil which our “Fore-fathers” offered their blood to defeat. We deny these same rights to accused men for which our Fathers first offered their blood.

    Our Father’s blood will cry out in witness against those of us who would carry out injustice against other men on the basis that they are not American citizens. This is an offense of American arrogance, and the World is justified in decrying it.

    Further, do we, as a nation, consider the blood of our soldiers so much less valuable than that of our Fathers (engaged in the same struggle), that we would deny the very justice they offer their blood for?

    It is time for those of us that remember our great nation’s history, to cry out against injustice in behalf of those who have no voice. Senator Hatch, you may reduce these people to the term “Terrorist”, and somehow deny them justice, but in our great nation, people are considered innocent until proved guilty in a court of Law, for we are a nation governed by Law, not by emotion driven by the threat of terrorism.

    Remember, mankind’s unalienable rights are unalienable due to their Divine origin.

    Senator Hatch, your mindless allegiance to the party line could cost you more than you know. It could cost you an election, it may cost you, your very soul.

    Chad Pangborn
    Follower of Christ
    Citizen of Utah, United States of America

  14. Pete, you mangle the language. Please take a remedial course in English to learn how to write on a basil level.

  15. Hi Pete,
    Thank you so much for running in this campaign and speaking up for what you stand for. I along with all of my friends and family will be voting for you tomorrow. Thank you for all that you do for Utah and for caring.
    Best of Luck tomorrow.

  16. I read the tribune editorial and I was absolutely disgusted to the bone. On ocassion, I come out of the woodwork and use the name of my brother who was killed in Iraq to emphasize things that I would think he would agree with and to possibloy speak for him and his sacrifice where he can no longer do so. I would never use my brother’s sacrifice for money, fame, or attention. I use it when I see a complacent nation, selfish citizens, negligence by politicians who we depend on to protect us. My disgust has little to do with the fact that the Tribune endorsed Hatch over Ashdown. If Hatch had a blog I’d post this there too. The Tribune editorial should fill any candidate worth their salt, any citizen of this state with the same disgust as myself. So I wrote a letter to the editor and even if it never gets published by the Trib or any other paper, I would hope that at a minimum, people who agree with it would take the time to pass it on to call the Tribune on their perception of appropriate politics and endorsements. Forgive any spelling/grammer errors, some of the most important concepts are easily grasped by the “less educated.”


    Letter to the Editor SL Tribune with preface:

    Just so you know, I’m going to be sending this comment to every newspaper in the
    state and I’ll do my best to post it on every bulletin board I can find with a
    link to your editorial. And if I can find or enlist someone else’s help, I’ll
    send it to any other outside papers that no matter how unlikely it may be, take
    an interest in the mindset of the second leading paper in the state of Utah.
    Yes, I’m that disgusted.


    I have to say that not only was I shocked with the content of the Tribune’s
    editorial endorsment of Senator Hatch, I was disgusted. I don’t need to endorse
    either candidate to express my disgust with your editorial. I would not argue
    that Senator Hatch has done nothing for this state and this country. But for
    the tribune to come right out and use and endorse the concept of quote,
    “head-of-the-trough position’s” in congress and “bringing home federal pork to
    fund Utah projects” demonstrates everything that is wrong with this country
    today. Since when did this attitude of “give me my piece of the pie” take over this
    country to the extent it has today? On one hand, this state embraces and fights
    for the words, “One nation, under God” to remain in the pledge of alliegance, on
    the other hand the Tribune and many in this state have degraded the national
    spirit and national goals into something akin to pigs feeding at a trough. The
    Tribune has literally stepped all over the words of
    JFK when he said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can
    do for your country.” My brother died in Iraq for the ideals of this country,
    the ENTIRE country and it’s welfare. I think he would be as disgusted as I am
    over the Tribune’s perception of the way this nation should be run. I don’t see
    how any patriotic thinking citizen in this state could read your endorsment and
    take it seriously. You’ve not only dishonored Pete Ashdown, whatever his
    intentions may be, you’ve also painted Senator Hatch in a light that may or may
    not be true, depending on his intentions. National representatives are bound to consider the welfare of
    this nation first. If you’re voting based on the pork you may get at the end of
    the day, do everyone a favor…don’t vote.

    Mike Cawley
    Proud brother of Marine SSGT and SLCPD Officer/SWAT, James W. Cawley, KIA, Iraq,
    March 29, 2003

  17. Orrin Hatch lost me when he wanted to blow my computer up… so despite the fact that my brother-in-law’s wife worked in his office until recently and is friends with him, he wont get my vote.

    The only thing more satisfying than voting against him would be voting against Ted Stevens – but alas – I don’t live in Alaska.

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